Inclusive Creator Fund Presented by the Anna and John J. Sie & Global Down Syndrome Foundations

The Anna & John J. Sie Foundation (AJSF) has pledged a minimum of $10,000 to SeriesFest in 2024 (Season 10) to establish the  Inclusive Creator Fund  in partnership with Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL) through which financial support can be directed toward television projects that include talent with intellectual disabilities in front of and/or behind the camera. The intent of the fund is to identify and elevate promising inclusive projects that showcase the contributions of individuals with intellectual disabilities to the process of creating innovative, new episodic storytelling.

Creators that meet the eligibility requirements, and wish to be considered for this opportunity, can simply indicate such when submitting their project to SeriesFest Season 10 and will automatically be considered for the Disabled Creators Fund. 

Applicant’s projects will be reviewed by the Anna & John J. Sie & Global Down Syndrome Foundation and fund recipients will be announced at the SeriesFest Season 10 Awards Ceremony.


The Anna and John J. Sie Foundation is a leader in funding programs and organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of people who have Down syndrome. Since its inception in 2005, the Foundation has committed a majority of its corpus to Down syndrome-related grants and endowments, including funding for the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Crnic Institute’s Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at the Children’s Hospital Colorado. The Crnic Institute is the first academic home that is exclusively dedicated to highest quality basic, clinical and developmental research, medical care, education and advocacy for people with Down syndrome.


The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL) is the largest non-profit in the U.S. working to save lives and dramatically improve health outcomes for people with Down syndrome. GLOBAL has donated more than $32 million to establish the first Down syndrome research institute supporting over 400 scientists and over 2,200 patients with Down syndrome from 33 states and 10 countries. Working closely with Congress and the National Institutes of Health, GLOBAL is the lead advocacy organization in the U.S. for Down syndrome research and care. GLOBAL has a membership of over 120 Down syndrome organizations worldwide, and is part of a network of Affiliates – the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Sie Center for Down Syndrome, and the University of Colorado Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center – all on the Anschutz Medical Campus.GLOBAL’s widely circulated medical publications include Global Medical Care Guidelines for Adults with Down Syndrome, Prenatal Testing and Information about Down Syndrome, and the award-winning magazine Down Syndrome World™. GLOBAL also organizes the Be BeautifulBe Yourself Fashion Show, the largest Down syndrome fundraiser in the world.


  • Pilots or digital shorts must include at least one person with a diagnosed disability in the cast or crew with priority given to projects inclusive of people with intellectual or cognitive disability in the cast or crew. 
  • For Pitch-A-Thon submissions, the writer of the unproduced work must have an intellectual or cognitive disability.
  • Examples of an intellectual disability include, but are not limited to: 
    • Down Syndrome
    • Autism / Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Developmental Delay
    • Fragile X Syndrome
    • Prader-Willi
    • Tourette Syndrome
    • Williams Syndrome
  • Examples of a cognitive disability include, but are not limited to: 
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Dementia with Lewy bodies disease
    • Epilepsy-related cognitive dysfunction
    • Parkinson’s disease-related cognitive dysfunction
    • Stroke-related cognitive dysfunction
    • Traumatic brain injury
  • The cast or crew member with the intellectual or cognitive disability must have a credited role.
  •  If the project features cast member(s) with intellectual disabilities, they must have a recurring role in the series.
  • If the project features cast member(s) with intellectual disabilities, their disability may not be portrayed in a negative or disparaging light.


SeriesFest, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, is launching a sequence of opportunities to make our festival more accessible for all content creators and to celebrate a commitment to diversity and equity, including a waiver for submissions. Pilots applying for the Independent Pilot, Digital Short Series, Late Night, and Unscripted Series competitions have the opportunity to apply for a submission waiver.